Fudgy Bourbon Balls for a Kentucky Derby Party

I realize the Kentucky Derby has come and gone, but I see no reason to limit these tasty, boozy morsels to a single event! I brought these for dessert since my plans to make a warm & fuzzy peach cobbler were foiled by the nonexistence of peaches in Olympia in early May. I found the original recipe here and wouldn’t change a thing. OK, I would change one thing: I would hoard some away so I could have one (or 5) the next day, since I couldn’t stop thinking about them.


  • 2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (best made with Nabisco Famous wafers — 1 package — pulverized in a food processor)
  •  1 1/4 cups pecans
  •  1/2 cup good bourbon or rum (I used Wild Turkey 101 proof)
  •  1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for rolling
  •  3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey


1. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the cookie crumbs and pecans until the nuts are finely ground.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon or rum, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until just combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 4 hours or, lightly covered, overnight. This will dry it out a little.

3. Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar. Store the balls airtight if you like them moist, or uncovered if you like them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners’ sugar just before serving.




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